Victor Vega-Vazquez learned long ago how to take life’s challenges one day at a time.

He first understood this lesson during basic training, after he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1989.

“There are things you will never forget … your whole life is totally different from that point on,” said Vega-Vasquez, who serves today as the dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at College of Coastal Georgia.

Vega-Vasquez spoke Tuesday at the college’s Veterans’ Day Luncheon, a celebration of service of the faculty and students at the college.

VALOR, a student organization that supports CCGA’s veterans, hosted the program.

Vega-Vasquez said his experience in the military shaped the person he is today. His time serving taught him many valuable skills, including commitment, teamwork, sacrifice, service and perseverance.

Brunswick Mayor Cornell Harvey, who served 29 years in the U.S. Air Force, said Tuesday that his time serving also taught him about the importance of the camaraderie provided by the VALOR organization.

“We stick together,” Harvey said. “We are a brotherhood, a sisterhood. We are an organization that sticks together and we fight for each other, and we fight for our flag.”

Meg Amstuz, interim CCGA president, said the college has long been committed to serving its student veterans.

“This college is committeed to serving veterans, and we contine to both seek to serve and address their needs, but also to help them accomplish their dreams and understand that they can achieve what they want to achieve with the help and support of the College of Coastal Georgia,” she said.

Vega encouraged the student veterans to remember the values they learned serving in the military. He also asked others in attendance to remember to thank veterans for their service.

“Give thanks that you live in a country like ours,” he said.